University of Leicester and Loughborough University have formed a partnership with six other institutions in the Midlands to create an  investment company to accelerate spinouts and early-stage IP rich businesses in the region.

‘Midlands Mindforge Limited’ has also been co-founded by Aston University, University of Birmingham , Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Nottingham and University of Warwick.

The company plans to raise up to £250 million from strategic corporate partners, institutional investors and qualifying individuals, and aims to transform ground-breaking science and technology into successful businesses with real-world impact.

One of the reasons behind the forging of a new investment arm in the region is to “address the significant funding deficit for early-stage technology businesses”. 

Professor Trevor McMillan OBE, Chair of Midlands Innovation Board and Vice Chancellor of Keele University said:

“We have one of the largest research communities in the UK with more than 14,500 academics who have a strong track record collaborating on innovative research ideas that turn spinouts into successful businesses.

Chairman of the Midlands Engine Partnership Sir John Peace said:

“The Midlands has always been associated with exceptional invention and creativity, but has long experienced significant underinvestment and consequently productivity levels have lagged behind the rest of the UK.

“This bold and ambitious initiative led by the Midlands Innovation universities has the potential to help close the investment gap, supporting our region to reach its true potential for sustainable economic growth.

Collectively, the eight founding universities have the most post-graduate students, the highest levels of annual income, more research disclosures and patents generated per unit of research spend in the last three years, in comparison to any other UK university grouping.